My Companions in Christ friends and I are in the midst of studying how we can be fed by the Word as we seek to have the mind of Christ. We’ve been reminded how the Bible came to be, and the relationship between the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures and how we are to respond to the Bible as God’s word.
Thomas a Kempis observes “Our own curiosity often hinders us in reading the Scriptures, because we wish to understand and argue when we should simply read on with humility, simplicity, and faith.”
As the great Dr. “Mickey” Efird taught me, no other book or collection of books in the entire history of the world has been so misunderstood, misused, and abused as the materials in the Holy Bible. Dr. Efird says that Scripture is the “only infallible rule of faith and practice” which means that the books tell us about the nature of God, how God relates to the world, why God created, how we humans are to relate to God and how do we get into a proper relationship with God. He reminds us that it is imperative that we try to understand the books of the Bible correctly and properly.
Throughout this time of study, I was reminded of an exchange that I had with someone who I respect in spite of significant differences of opinion on some of the topics that divide our church today. This person had encouraged me to read something he had written and I responded to him telling that I respected him but that my study and guidance from biblical scholars and more importantly the leading of the Holy Spirit had brought me to a different view.
His response to me was that he also respected me and my faith but he was concerned about my reliance on the Holy Spirit because “when you rely on the Holy Spirit to be the revealer of new truth my concern is that with that is the kind of spiritual and later theological and later still moral relativism that can lead to. “ He then reminded me that Benedict XVI called the dictatorship of relativism a concern for all of us contemporary Christians today.
I’m still not sure that I totally understand where this scholarly dude was coming from and I’m not sure that continuing that line of conversation with him would have produced much fruit then or now, but I am convinced that we must allow the Holy Spirit to come to our aid to illumine our minds as we attempt to interpret and apply the Word of God.
Martin Luther taught, “Where the Spirit does not open the Scripture, the Scripture is not understood even though it is read.”
If you would like to print or share this edition of Claire…ification,
you are encouraged to use this pdf:
Claire – Relying On the Holy Spirit Does Not Lead to Moral Relativism
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